Monday 22 January 2018

Risotto asparagi e zafferano

Marco Roccasalvo

Risotto asparagi e zafferano -- Risotto with asparagus

and saffron

Those who know me know asparagus, rice and saffron are some of my favourite ingredients. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world and invokes stories of Chinese emperors, Tibetan monks and aphrodisiac properties. This dish brings together flavours, colours and scents that will enchant anybody who eats it. My advice is to use saffron threads, rather than powder. Be careful when buying saffron as some powders are not from the flower at all, so buy only from a reputable source. Serves 4.


40g butter

200g Arborio or Carnaroli rice

1 litre hot vegetable stock

1 sachet saffron threads

200g green asparagus tips

50g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Melt 10g of butter in a large heavy- bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring it constantly, for about 3 minutes, until the grains are coated in butter.

Start adding the vegetable broth, little by little, so that it covers the rice. Stir gently until the liquid has been absorbed and then repeat until all the stock has been used up. It will take about 18-20 minutes for the rice to cook.

Add the asparagus tips and saffron a couple of minutes before the end. When the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add in the rest of the butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano to obtain a nice creamy texture. In Italian, we call this mantecare. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Put a lid on the pan and leave to rest for 2 minutes before serving.

Irish Independent

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